Social Signals - When Your Brand isn't Something People are Shouting About
Don't let lackluster social media interaction slow you down–learn your audience.
I'd like to start off by saying that there's no clear cut answer to whether or not Google (and other search engines) use social signals as a factor in determining page rank. Matt Cutts of Google flat out denies it in this video but some SEO analysts think they've got proof to the contrary.
Regardless, one thing holds true: the more people there are tweeting, posting, and sharing your website, the better it is for business. Your company name will become more relevant, online traffic will increase and the end result should be increased sales.
Your Business Sells Services or Products People Aren't Comfortable Sharing
There are plenty of companies out there that provide services most of us wouldn't be too keen on tweeting about. Think divorce lawyers, certain medical professionals, counselors, or anyone else that deals with an intimate part of their client's life.
- Getting referrals from online word-of-mouth is going to be tough. Very few people are going to share their marriage therapist's website on Facebook, let alone tell all their friends they were seeing someone for help.
- Your business will receive fewer organic reviews but will be more likely to have the negative ones posted.###li/li###
- Everyone else in your industry is in the same boat you're in.
- Your clients are more likely to turn to the internet in search of answers as opposed to asking a friend for referrals.
Increasing Social Signals Despite the Nature of Your Business
Just because your own customers aren't going to naturally share your business online, doesn't mean you should give up on social media altogether. Create and regularly maintain social listings: get a Facebook page, Twitter profile, YouTube account, etc.
Having other platforms where you can share information provides potential customers additional avenues to encounter your business online. Consistently provide useful information your target market is looking for and they'll keep coming back to read what you're sharing.
It's important to note that not all of your posts need to link back to your website. Consider referencing other online services your clients may be searching for in conjunction with the solutions you provide.
Brush up on your networking skills and start searching for experts in your field. Find out who the influencers are and reach out to them. Ask for the opportunity to share your perspective with their followers. It's a great way to reach more of your demographic and increase links back to your own site.
Reviews on Google+
Ask your past (satisfied) clients to share their thoughts about you through a review on your Google Plus local listing. The great thing about earning reviews on Google+ is that they show up in search and your reviewers have the option to leave feedback anonymously. Be careful not to ask for too many reviews all at once: it may look suspicious and could actually damage your brand reputation.
Share Information on YouTube
Consider creating a video series on YouTube. Come out with weekly or bi-monthly videos addressing some of the most common questions, fears, and hesitations your clients may have before hiring you. Establish yourself as a competent, understanding company.
Since most people that will end up buying from you aren't going to be comfortable asking their neighbors for advice, they'll be more likely to turn to the internet in search of answers.
Don't Pay Attention to the Number of Likes You're Getting
All of the things you begin to do with social media are excellent ways to boost social signals. Online searchers will be much more likely to encounter your company, be encouraged to find out more about you, and visit your site (where you can do the rest of selling them).
Don't be discouraged by low Facebook page likes or Twitter followers. It's not the goal. Your goal with social media should always be to provide your audience with useful, timely information that also links back to your primary website.
As you continue maintaining your social presence, you'll learn more about how your audience responds to the info you share and discover new ways to approach them.
Every business category is different and will need some tweaking for optimal results.
Good luck. Have fun and happy sharing!
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